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at home: Art in Context | Bridget Riley
Bridget Riley and Ad Reinhardt met in London during Reinhardt’s 1964 exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art. A year later, when Reinhardt was invited by Scottish concrete poet Ian Hamilton Finlay to edit an issue of Finlay’s journal Poor Old Tired Horse, the elder American artist asked Riley to join him by illustrating a selection of his musings on art. The result melds a repeated sequence of tilted “O” forms by Riley, who also laid out the magazine, with various fragments of calligraphic text by Reinhardt regarding art and abstraction.

This collaboration presents a fascinating conversation across continents and genres, bringing two abstract painters—linked by their shared concerns with the role of perception— into conversation with concrete poets. Further it introduces Riley and Reinhardt’s work into the very specific network of self-published concrete poetry magazines which were primarily distributed to foster dialogue and community amongst the poets and their supporters.

Close analysis of this little-known journal, illuminated by archival material, allows for a better understanding of the networks that existed between American and British artists in the 1960s, as well as between abstract painting and poetry in this period. It also opens up new avenues to understand Riley’s background in commercial illustration, her approach to printmaking, and the page as a site for her work.

May 10, 2022 12:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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